Armour, Clark share lead after wind-rattled second round at Bermuda

Ryan Armour and Wyndham Clark were tied at the top of the Bermuda Championship leaderboard on Friday.

Wyndham Clark carded a three-under-par 68. - AP

Americans Ryan Armour and Wyndham Clark were tied at the top of the Bermuda Championship leaderboard on Friday, playing the second round through rough and roaring winds that rattled flagsticks - and some competitors.

On the hunt for his first PGA Tour title, the 26-year-old Clark drained a 35-foot-long putt for an eagle at the par-five second. However, he stumbled with back-to-back bogeys on the seventh and eighth. He redeemed himself with three birdies on the back nine for a three-under-par 68.

FIRST ROUND REPORT

Armour carded a one-under-par 70, with four birdies and three bogeys. He told reporters that the strong gusts of winds at the seaside Port Royal Golf Course nearly knocked him off his feet on the par-four 15th.

“On 15 there over ocean side, I had a chip behind the green and on my backswing I got blown and like I had the grass mark right on the toe of the club and I’m like, ‘Wow, I almost missed that chip shot’,” said Armour, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2017. “So I was happy to get out of there with 4.”

Strong winds

Winds reached up to 30 mph at the tournament on Friday, the first PGA Tour event to have fans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rounding out the top contenders were Americans Kramer Hickok, Ollie Schniederjans (70), and Doc Redman (71).

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Elsewhere in the field, Fred Funk carded a one-over-par 72 to become only the fourth golfer to make the cut at a PGA Tour event aged 64 or older, after Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead and Tom Watson.

The 64-year-old sealed his round with a chip-in birdie on his final hole, with son Taylor Funk (81) - who was in his grouping - wrapping his arm around the elder Funk’s shoulders amid the celebratory hoots and hollers.

Lahiri rises to tied-12th

Anirban Lahiri battled windy conditions and shot one-under 70 to rise to tied-12th and make the cut for the weekend.

Lahiri, who shot 3-under 68 on the first day, was 4-under 138 and four shots behind the co-leaders. Lahiri, who was tied 26 overnight, can get closer to the leaders over the next two days.

Things, however, did not pan out well for Arjun Atwal, who had as many as seven birdies, but also dropped six bogeys in his 70 and exited at the halfway stage at 3-over as the cut fell at 1-over.

Lahiri, who has had one Top-10 this season, on Friday said he was happy to remain in the hunt after a round in tough conditions. Alongside co-leader Clark, Lahiri played steady with two birdies on fifth and 18th while dropping a shot on 15th.

'Happy'

Lahiri said, “I’m quite happy with the way I played. It was tough, really tough. It’s been a while since we played in conditions like this, and it takes me back to The Open at St Andrews in 2015. Today the gusts were up but they kept the greens slow enough and it was borderline playable. It was a grind.”

The forecast is for similar conditions on the third day, but Lahiri is ready to keep grinding.

“One of those days when you have to accept whatever you get. I generally played better today. I’ll be looking to hit a few more fairways over the weekend and probably make a few putts. I felt like I haven’t made many putts outside of five, six feet and missed a few inside that range as well. It’s one of those things which has not fallen into place but things are looking good and in the right direction. It will be a matter of having a few go in and getting on a roll to gain some momentum. Tomorrow is going to be a windy day again, so it’ll be interesting.”

While the 2015 Asian Tour No. 1 Lahiri stayed in Top-12, yet another former Asian No. 1 Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat kept the Asian Tour flag flying high as he compiled a bogey free 5-under 66 and rose to tied sixth at 5-under 137.

The 31-year-old Kiradech, playing some of his best golf, was the only player to stay bogey free in high winds that went up to 56 kph.

He made birdies on hole numbers 2, 5, 12, 13 and 14. He missed seven greens in regulation but scrambled to save par on each occasion to keep himself close to the leaders.